Mushrooms in the Coalholes

A key part of the Edible Utopia programme is our growing of mushrooms in the disused coalholes around the courtyard. These small alcoves formerly used for coal storage, then for general storage have now been reclaimed as mushroom fruiting chambers.

Our on-site mushrooms are grown using straw and waste coffee grounds provided by our on-site cafes minimising. The organically grown mushrooms are a sustainable and alternative model to food production in the heart of our city and will go back into the cafes and restaurants here.

Led by Mycologist in Residence Darren Springer the core of the project is regular hands-on educational sessions with groups of varying backgrounds. Working with young people, vulnerably housed communities, care groups and schools we investigate mushrooms and mycelium, their unique properties and unique role in the support of life on earth. These sessions equip attendees with the expertise to grow their own edible mushrooms from everyday materials and a single mushroom.

We also look to explore the mushroom creatively such as through photography, as showcased with the photographs here taken by Accumulate.